By Liz White, UT staffHanover, Germany-Continental AG has sold its Stankiewicz GmbH unit to Dutch investor Gilde Buy-Out Fund of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The two parties agreed not to disclose the price. Stankiewicz, which was part of the ContiTech technical rubber goods unit, was acquired by Continental when the group bought Phoenix AG in 2004."ContiTech is reorienting its core business activities, which is why we decided to sell Stankiewicz GmbH," said Gerhard Lerch, chairman of ContiTech, in a 9 Feb announcement. "This move will have a positive impact for Stankiewicz as well."Stankiewicz, based in Adelheidsdorf near Hanover, makes complete sound insulation systems for reducing external and internal noise on cars and commercial vehicles. Many of its sound-deadening products are based on polyurethane, while it produces rubber to metal springs, bushes and suspension mounts for automotive vibration damping. In recent years, Conti points out, the business has become an international automotive supplier, with nine plants in six countries. The company employs 2100 worldwide and posted sales of Euros 270 million ($324 million) for 2005. "We are very confident that, together with Gilde, we are well prepared for the challenges we will face in the coming years," commented Dr Oliver Hafner, general manager of Stankiewicz. "Vehicle acoustics will play an increasingly important role, which presents Stankiewicz with excellent opportunities for further growth," he added, in Conti's statement. For Gilde, the purchase is "an important step in the expansion of its activities in the automotive sector," said Ralph Wyss, managing director of Gilde's office in Zurich, where the transaction was managed. "Rising demands on comfort will continue to provide innovative companies such as Stankiewicz with good possibilities to sell high-quality acoustics solutions in the future."The sale is subject to approval by antitrust authorities and the board of Phoenix AG.The picture is an aerial view of Stankiewicz's Adelheidsdorf site. "